UK hopes for world trade deal within weeks
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said yesterday he hoped for agreement on a new world trade deal within weeks.
Brown held talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of a summit of the 53-nation Commonwealth to try to inject new urgency into the long-running Doha round of global trade talks.
"With the talks that are going to take place over the next few weeks, I hope we can move it (the round) to a conclusion," Brown told reporters after the talks at the Munyonyo resort on the shores of Lake Victoria.
He said it was important that at a time of financial turbulence "we do everything in our power to show that we can bring about greater stability.
"One of the ways of doing so is to have strong international institutions. Another way is to have a trade deal," he said.
Singh said only that he agreed with what Brown had said.
The head of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Pascal Lamy said this week the Doha round will not see major developments for the rest of this year as negotiators take time to produce a better deal.
Key meetings are expected early next year.
British officials say Brown has also spoken to South African President Thabo Mbeki and Lesotho's Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili during the Commonwealth summit about driving forward the Doha trade talks.
The four countries are important players in the trade talks.
Britain is a member of the Group of Seven industrialised countries and of the European Union, India and South Africa are prominent developing countries while Lesotho leads the group of poorest or least-developed countries.